According to Hidalgo City Manager Joe Vera III, the city will provide free space for the new facility at the Guerra Center, which is within walking distance of the International Bridge, and the university will provide the classes to meet a growing need for special training on both sides of the border.
An open house is planned for the Hidalgo Education Center, 1121 S. Bridge Street, on Tuesday, Jan. 13, from 4 to 6 p.m. The event will be cosponsored by the City of Hidalgo, UT Pan American's Center for Continuing Education and English Language Institute, the Hidalgo Economic Development Corp. and the Hidalgo Chamber of Commerce.
The first classes at the Hidalgo Education Center English training for children ages 8 to 16 will be offered beginning Jan. 24 by the UT Pan American English Language Institute (ELI). University representatives will be at the center on Jan. 12 to register students. Registration also may be completed on the UT Pan American campus in Edinburg prior to that date. Call 381-2311 for more information.
We're not offering those classes on the main campus, said Kelly Gutierrez, ELI program coordinator. This center will provide classes to a large population not currently served by UT Pan American's main campus. We have a good market here (in Edinburg) we see 400 to 500 students every 12 weeks but we don't have any classes for children on campus.
"We expect to enroll a large number of local residents from Hidalgo and walk-across students from Reynosa," she said.
Suzanne Johnson, director of the UT Pan American Center for Continuing Education, of which the ELI is a part, said that, though the project will begin with the language classes for children and adolescents, plans are to add evening and Saturday classes for adults maybe in February.
Johnson also foresees the addition of classes in child care provider training, with some taught in Spanish, and management classes on demand, perhaps as early as April.
More information about the Hidalgo Education Center is available from Johnson at 956/384-5900.